Angry and bitter people out there following Sunday’s District Council elections.
China’s domestic state media are all but ignoring the results, in line with Xinhua’s report that an election took place and nothing else happened. Beijing’s overseas propaganda organs apparently had pre-written stories on patriotic candidates’ great victory, suggesting that senior CCP officials genuinely expected that outcome – raising serious questions about how they gather intel, and the full extent of their cluelessness. (Reuters reports that Beijing might defenestrate Liaison Office boss Wang Zhimin for hobnobbing with Hong Kong’s rich rather than doing anything useful.) China Daily and others hurriedly patched together stuff about violence affecting the polls, evil foreign interference and so on.
(Update: Xinhua publishes a commentary complaining that the election fell victim to ‘black terror’, but hoping that correct understanding of Belt and Road will offer Hong Kong’s kids a brighter future.)
After months of ranting about protesters as unrepresentative extremist psycho-kids, the SCMP’s Alex Lo condemns the Hong Kong electorate to hell for hating the government more than they love the city (no, I don’t get it either).
Pro-Beijing lawmaker Paul Tse (affectionately described as ‘maverick’, otherwise as ‘pitiful wacko’) admits that the election is a warning to the government and urges faster prosecutions of arrested protesters to make everything OK again.
Most other CCP apologists are wisely keeping their heads down. Out in Twitter-land, my favourite tankies are trying to put a brave face on things, conceding that the Hong Kong public does not like the government, but insisting that pro-US, anti-Beijing radical subsets must be dealt with and doubting that it will happen – so let Hong Kong rot, etc.
The Hong Kong government has – predictably – clammed up. Some of its supporters are comforting themselves with the fact that the pro-establishment vote held up quite well.
A few points to remember on this. First, elections took place in many wards where the pro-Beijing candidate has previously been returned unopposed (thus the turnout had been zero, so obviously every party’s vote increased). Second, the United Front efforts to get the vote out (offer gifts, etc) was huge. Third, gerrymandering.
The new-age touchy-feely dialogue brigade also seem somewhat discomfited. Christine Loh (promoter of a recent HK Forward Forum on reconciliation) insists that it is still up to Hong Kong people to get into ‘informed deliberation’ on ‘One Country’ in order to avoid provoking Beijing. Learn to like kowtowing to the CCP, and everything will be bliss.
Perhaps the most cringe-making sourness (pre-dating Sunday) comes from someone at the warm and fuzzy Global Institute for Tomorrow (also in the recent HK Forward Forum) who was so incensed by a trivial-but-harmless Financial Times interview with the boy Joshua, that he wrote a seething, almost chip-on-shoulder, letter to the editor in response…